On Saturday, Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra created history by becoming India’s first Olympic gold medal in athletics after finishing first in the Javelin throw event.
The 23-year-old registered a best attempt of 87.58m to finish ahead of the Czech Republic duo of Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely to win India’s first gold medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics and also the country’s second individual gold medal in its Olympic history after Abhinav Bindra’s heroics in Beijing 2008.
With his historic effort, he also took India’s medal haul to seven in the ongoing Games – the country’s highest ever, beating the tally of six medals won at the London Games in 2012.
Soon after his victory, wishes poured in from fellow countrymen, including congratulatory messages from President of India Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi.
Hailing Neeraj Chopra for his historic achievement, President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted from his official handle, “Unprecedented win by Neeraj Chopra! Your javelin gold breaks barriers and creates history. You bring home first ever track and field medal to India in your first Olympics. Your feat will inspire our youth. India is elated! Heartiest congratulations!”
Unprecedented win by Neeraj Chopra!Your javelin gold breaks barriers and creates history. You bring home first ever track and field medal to India in your first Olympics. Your feat will inspire our youth. India is elated! Heartiest congratulations!— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 7, 2021
Congratulating Chopra on this gold medal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “History has been scripted at Tokyo! What Neeraj Chopra has achieved today will be remembered forever. The young Neeraj has done exceptionally well. He played with remarkable passion and showed unparalleled grit. Congratulations to him for winning the Gold.”
History has been scripted at Tokyo! What @Neeraj_chopra1 has achieved today will be remembered forever. The young Neeraj has done exceptionally well. He played with remarkable passion and showed unparalleled grit. Congratulations to him for winning the Gold. #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/2NcGgJvfMS— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2021
Following his victory, old tweets of Neeraj Chopra surfaced on the social media platforms where he had congratulated Prime Minister Modi for his historic election victory in 2019. “May our country achieve new heights under your leadership,” Neeraj Chopra had tweeted.
In fact, just ahead of Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj Chopra had thanked the Modi government for taking care of all his requirements ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. In addition, he had thanked the Indian government for its support during his training, especially in Europe, despite having tough visa rules.
Another tweet of Neeraj Chopra has also become viral post his gold medal in Olympics, in which he had informed of having donated Rs.2 Lakh to PM CARES to find and Rs.1 lakh fund to the Haryana Covid Relief Fund during the coronavirus pandemic.
In another tweet, Neeraj Chopra had defended the Modi government’s decision to hold a Khelo India event during the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan in February 2019. Neeraj Chopra had stepped in to defend the move after the controversial former TV anchor and now a full-time Youtuber Barkha Dutt had criticised the Modi government over its importance to sports events at a time when India was facing a security threat from a neighbour.
In response to Barkha Dutt’s tirade, Chopra had schooled her saying sports helped to unite the youth and channelise energy in a positive direction. “And what better time than now to do that. It is a good initiative, and criticising it is sad,” he had said.
Barkha ji, sports helps to unite the youth and channelise energy in a positive direction. And what better time than now to do that. It is a good initiative and critising it is sad.— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) February 28, 2019
Interestingly, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Prime Minister Modi had personally spoken to Neeraj Chopra and his family to wish best wishes to Indian athletes. In his interaction with Chopra, PM Modi had said, “I have been told that you got injured, but still you created a new record. You don’t need to get bogged down by expectations, don’t take the burden of expectations, just focus on your goal.
Replying to PM Modi, Neeraj said, “I am focusing on my game, anything I want, the government is helping me in that. We have a limited career, because of injury, I lost some time, but I was fully focused on the Olympics. Because of Covid-19, Olympics got postponed, but I kept on preparing for the event.”
🙏😊🇮🇳💪 https://t.co/8mCrm7zRF7— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) July 14, 2021
Meanwhile, netizens have reacted to the old tweets of Neeraj Chopra in which he had expressed his admiration for Prime Minister Modi. Social media users highlighted how active support from the Modi government to Indian sportspersons has created a conducive atmosphere for athletes to win medals in the highest stages, such as Olympics.
A few took a dig at the liberals after Neeraj Chopra’s tweet resurfaced on social media, who said the left-liberals will now cancel despite him winning a medal.
Nooo😁😁 you are cancelled..🙏🙏😘😘😘— DEEP PATEL🇮🇳 (@IMBHUT) August 7, 2021
Liberals😂 pic.twitter.com/TiglUxPJNJ— Pragati😇 (@pragatisart) August 7, 2021
Liberals reaction in one picture pic.twitter.com/ScQPN1F24i— Deepak (@imdeepakrk) August 7, 2021
With Chopra’s medal, India has registered its highest medal tally in the Olympics ever. Mirabai Chanu had opened India’s account at the Tokyo Olympics with a silver medal in Boxing. PV Sindhu followed it up with a bronze in Badminton.
Ravi Dahiya won a silver medal in Wrestling. Lovlina Borgohain won bronze in boxing, Bajrang Punia the same in Wrestling. And, of course, the Indian Hockey Team won a medal in Olympics after 41 years with a Bronze finish.
On Saturday (August 7), Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia defeated Niyazbekov Daulet of Kazakhstan in the men’s freestyle 65 kg match to clinch the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.